Stupid question: What if a musician said, "I want to record my album in analog"?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Let's say a big-name artist went to his or her producer and said, "I don't like the sound of digital recordings. They sound cold and unnatural. My voice sounds mechanical and steely on my recent CDs, which were done in PCM. As a result, I don't want to do any more digital recordings. I want to do analog." Now, let's say right away that DSD is not an option for various reasons (lack of equipment, cost, etc.). Let's also say that the producer could not convince the artist to record in 24/96 or 24/192 PCM (perhaps the artist recorded in 24/96 PCM before and didn't like the results). The artist's reaction to the suggestion of higher-resolution PCM was, "No. No PCM recordings." What would the producer tell him? Is recording in analog at all a reasonable proposition today?
     
  2. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Analog recording remains very common, probably even dominant, today.

    Regards,
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ken, dominant? Is that right? I had no idea. I thought the majority of recordings, regardless of genre, were done in PCM these days.
     
  4. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    I don't know the numbers, but analog is still common as Ken pointed out.

    Bob Ludwig gets as many analog masters as digital masters @ Gateway Mastering and DVD.

    Regards,
     
  5. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

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    That's right.
    As an example, Depeche Mode recorded Music for the Masses in full digital in 1987, but then followed in 1990 with Violator which was recorded and mixed in analog.
    Joel
     
  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I think there are certain artist who have become somewhat wary of digital as they have seen upgrades come along. Say you made your album in something like glorious 16 bit 44.1KHz back in 1989, and now you see consumer formats that are far exceeding the technical capability of your digital master for playback? Meanwhile, analog recordings from 20 years earlier are being transferred to 24/192 PCM or DSD with good results.

    To be fair, there are completely analogous (no pun intended) situations with advances in analog recording technologies as well.

    Anyway, that is why even very high-profile big money acts may still choose to record analog. There are certainly aesthetic considerations as well w.r.t. the sound they are trying to achieve.

    Regards,
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Very interesting. I'm glad to hear that analog recording is alive and well.
     
  8. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Remember when CDs would have the AAD, ADD, and DDD markings, indicating which stages of production were analog vs. digital? Even when ADD and DDD discs became more common, some artists still went the AAD route, and as I recall one Aerosmith CD I got years ago (Get a Grip I think it was), was actually labled AAA, analog all the way. I'm sure this was the artist's perogative, since most every CD was at least digitally mastered.

    KJP
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Kevin, I thought the last letter in the three-letter designation had to be a 'D' since the encoding process is, by definition, digital. Therefore, I thought the only options were DDD, ADD, and AAD.
     
  10. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    The third letter indicates the format of the master tape, not the encoding of the CD (which would always be digital). (at least that's what it said in the liner notes where they describe the "AAD" codes). The master can be analog or digital.

    KJP
     
  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    They would still have to create a digital master or else they could not make a CD.

    Regards,
     
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Yeah that was my thought as well (what Ken and Keith said). I've never seen an AAA, or even that option available when they had the explanatory notes as to what the AAD, ADD, DDD meant...
     
  13. Michael St. Clair

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    I haven't paid attention the last couple of years, but as recent as the late 90s the vast majority of the big name, big budget recording artists recorded analog (had gone back if they ever left), and digital was viewed as the low-budget, not highest-quality, way of recording.

    Really good analog rig = $$$$.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael, very interesting. As I said in earlier posts, I had no idea that analog recording was so prevalent. I had no idea that digital recording was viewed by some as the cheap, low-quality way to do it. Very interesting, indeed.
     
  15. Vic_T

    Vic_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Almost any recording studio, even small lower budget ones, are equipped to record in either digital or analog.
     
  16. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Analog rules. [​IMG]
    "Same as it ever was..."
     
  17. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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    When I was in highschool, I always recorded the band concert on Analog Reel to Reel at 7 1/2 inches per second with a pair of Shure Sm 57s. I still do record there BTW. My brother's still in school. Anyway, on the concert night, an hour before, I lug my deck, a couple mic stands, a briefcase full of wires and microphones, and a powerstrip with an extention cord and I set up. I let the band director know what I'm gonna do and he gives me plenty of time to rewind the tape, move the microphones from the chior to the band and then switch tapes. Then I let him know when to go. So, it works out pretty good. So, yeah, I record in analog, then put it on the computer, edit it, play with the EQ and the CD comes out perfect.
     

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